Consumer electronics manufacturer Great Wall Electronic International Holdings took a significant bottom line profit hit during 1995-96. Bad trading conditions were exacerbated by a one-off write-down on its Canadian activities. Difficult trading conditions continued to affect performance this financial year, the company said. The group recorded a $90.39 million attributable profit figure in the year to March 31, down sharply from the $113.57 million earnings figure it recorded a year earlier. The profit decline would have been more marked but for a sharp increase in the profit contribution of associated companies. The result has come despite a marginal increase in turnover to $3.38 billion for the period. The company has declared a one cent final dividend, which represents the total payout to shareholders for 1995-96. The major source of Great Wall's problems appears to have been a difficult year for the home audio market - a trend which company chairman Wong Kwok Wing says is continuing into the current financial year. Partly as a result of the problems in the audio area, Great Wall ceased its Canadian manufacturing activities in July last year. Directors believe this decision will help a more efficient utilisation of the group's resources. Mr Wong said problems with slow economic recovery in the US also contributed to the woes of Great Wall's audio business. In the face of the difficult market conditions, the company is introducing plans for further cost rationalisation, re-engineering of the manufacturing process and improvement of product quality. More marketing efforts will also be made to enter new markets. One small bright spot for the group has been the performance of its television operations. A rise in demand for large screen televisions in Eastern Europe and Asia led to an increase in total turnover in Great Wall's television activities, Mr Wong said.